The World Cup: A Digital round-up
In case you hadn’t noticed, the World Cup is back. For the next four weeks, homes and workplaces across the country will divide into two camps. The first group are likely to spend every waking moment in front of the TV or lovingly filling in pristine wall charts. The second will be trying to desperately to avoid the whole thing at all costs.
For those who fall into the former category, we’ve taken a look at the technology that could make or break the World Cup.
Watching the action
Two years ago, the London 2012 Olympics gave an indicator of how supporters enjoy sport from the comfort of their own home. We are now firmly in the age of the ‘multi screen’, with audiences often discussing the action on social media sites as they watch.
Many fans will be looking forward to watching games in crisp High Definition, but for those with deep pockets there is the exciting prospect of football in 4K. This ‘ultra high definition’ viewing experience is said to produce four times the resolution provided by current HD.
Of course, not everyone will be able to watch every game as it happens. Many fans will find themselves stuck in work, desperately avoiding the scores until they can watch a recording or highlights later.
This becomes a more difficult task with each passing tournament, with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and news websites screaming scores, goal scorers and stats at you from every angle. Fortunately, Australian company Fetch TV has come up with a solution.
‘Spoiler Spoiler’ will allow you to browse the web without worrying about stumbling across the very information you’ve been trying to avoid, blocking out all information related to your selected matches with a logo comprised of your team’s colours.
Can technology handle the World Cup?
Analysts are predicting that more fans than ever will be logging on to try and catch all the action from Brazil.
Around 2.5 million people are expected to seek out live streams of matches, around 900,000 more than the last tournament in 2010.
Data traffic is set to greatly increase too, with the daily peak estimated to be 10 terabytes per second (Tbps) higher than usual.
Companies will be hoping that internet providers can handle this, with many businesses set to cash in on the festival of football. In particular, betting sites are expected to see a surge in customers, while Brazilian telecoms companies have been working frantically to ensure fans travelling to the tournament will be able to get online easily.
What about on the pitch?
For England fans, the last World Cup was painful for many reasons; Rob Green’s dismal attempt to keep out Clint Dempsey’s equaliser for the USA, a desperately dreary goalless draw with Algeria and a humiliating capitulation against the Germans to name but three.
However, some fans still maintain that the latter result could have been different had the referee awarded Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ in the first half. The midfielder’s shot bounced off the crossbar and was clearly over the line, but it was not given.
At the time, fans, players and pundits raged, and organisers have moved to make sure this never happens again with the advent of goal-line technology.
This time, each goal will be surrounded by seven high-speed cameras that will alert the referee instantly if the ball crosses the line, settling the debate once and for all.
Of course, fans will doubtless still find plenty to talk about as they relax and enjoy the world’s finest footballers showcasing their talents on the biggest stage of all.